Gestating the bonus baby

When I first heard a year ago that friends of ours were expecting a surprise baby long after they thought they were done, I actually said the word suckers. I teased my friend about not blowing up the condom like a balloon before relying on it.

Then I found out I was pregnant with a surprise third, and the word sucker haunted me. At the time, my mind was still reeling from serious depression, as recounted here in my post, How to go crazy in 6 months or less. Just when I felt like I was getting a grip, a little pee stick turned up with a f*cking plus sign and my house of cards came crashing down. I felt like I couldn’t breathe for a few months, I was having panic attack after panic attack, sure that my life and my kids are going to be so f*cked up because I made this mistake of relying on just one form of contraception.

Years ago, I had decided that any more than two children would be too many for me. My identity rested in having precisely two kids and I didn’t know how to change that.

Having three children felt so big, so looming, and I couldn’t wrap my head around what that meant for me. My clothes wouldn’t fit for another year (or two). I would fill a sedan to the brim – or surrender and get the dreaded minivan. I might need those damn leashes for my kids like my mom used.

I felt like I was gestating a grenade.

I struggled with a new breed of depression and anxiety throughout the pregnancy. And as a stats junkie, I knew that my baby would experience the negative effects of my stress, but knowing that stressed me out even more.

But one month ago Little Lucinda made it. I made it. (My therapist deserves most of the credit.)

And you know, it’s not as crazy as I expected. My clothes aren’t that far from fitting. I now look longingly at minivans. And I’m shopping on Amazon for wrist leashes for wild card kids.

Having a baby is still a miraculous thing, even when it’s the surprise pregnancy. I got through it, kicking and screaming, and Lucinda did too. This bonus baby felt like someone played a joke on me. I now get the humor.


How to go crazy in 6 months or less

Here’s how I drove myself up the wall:

1) Purchase a sweet little house while whole-heartedly trusting the sellers, their realtor, your realtor, all without good cause.


2) Discover major problems in the house and immediately set to fixing those problems.


3) Act as your own general contractor while your husband is off whistling to work everyday.

4) Maintain unreasonably high standards considering your budget, your timeframe, and your do-it-yourself skills.


5) Make sure to schedule the construction during the cold, dark winter months when you annually suffer from seasonal depression, which I can’t even begin to explain except by directing you to Hyperbole and a Half’s Adventures in Depression.


Illustration copyright Hyperbole and a Half.

6) Throw in a broken condom.

Fool-proof recipe for creating a f*cking mad house. But it’s pretty much settled now so don’t call CPS. Birds are chirping, tile is laid, kids don’t have to try to cheer up a crying mother.